There's a blizzard! And it's not being used to trap everybody in one small location, which may be a television first. Instead, Holmes has to use techniques other than his precious mobile phone, although that might be an excuse to get him to pick up a magnifying glass. And I'm okay with that, because I like a Sherlock Holmes with a magnifying glass once in a while, you know?
The case starts with a security guard being shot so some robbers can steal two hundred cell phones before they go on sale. But that isn't even what they were after! They really wanted to break into an architecture firm and steal some blueprints. Holmes establishes that they needed the blueprints to break into a federal reserve station out in New Jersey. The robbers programmed the machines to automatically sort money, which normally sends worn bills out to the shredder. But they swapped in counterfeit money, so they made off with $33,000,000. Clever! The police have someone in custody from the initial theft, but she won't give anything away.
Holmes and Watson get out to Jersey by catching a ride with a snowplow operator named Pam, but the money's already been stolen. Holmes determines that the money is in an ambulance somewhere, but the ambulance has somehow vanished. But how could it have gotten out of town with so many roads being blocked by the blizzard? The answer is that they had someone on the inside: the FEMA person who was running all the police response. Once that's been deduced, all the NYPD has to do is stage a fake riot to trick their prisoner into giving away the double agent!
And a new character has been added: Miss Hudson! She's been acting as a muse for artists, which mostly translated into being kept in apartments by rich men who want time away from their wives. But that's over with, so until she finds something new, she'll be cleaning Holmes and Watson's apartment once a week. She also organizes Holmes's books, but she does it so well he can't find anything to complain about.
A security guard reads Eli Manning: Rise to Greatness while the television news warns about an incoming snowstorm. I can tell you right now that only one of those two facts is important to the episode. Eli Manning does not feature into this episode. The snowstorm, however, will be a Nor'Easter combined with a hurricane. The guard looks up from his book because a woman is on the ground outside, calling for help. He runs outside and she says, "He mugged me." The guard helps her in, and then she pulls a gun and tells him she doesn't want to hurt him. "Just open the door," she says. He does and then she shoots him. Hey! She lied! She lets her two accomplices in, and they drag the guard out of sight. Which is a good idea because this is a building where the whole front wall is glass. The intruders go to the stairs. But! The guard isn't dead yet! He has enough to energy to roll over, grab his gun and shoot at them.
Watson arrives home at the brownstone with bottled water, batteries and soup. You know, all the usual emergency supplies. And there's a woman in the living room! Her name, she says, is Miss Hudson. She's not a new client, but she's a friend of Holmes with a problem. She asks for some tea, specifically White Darjeeling, which seems like a very Sherlock Holmes-appropriate choice. Although the only canonical reference I can find to Darjeeling is actually about the city in India.
Watson joins Holmes in the kitchen. Holmes says Miss Watson is an autodidact (a self-taught person) who has consulted with him. She knows everything about Ancient Greek and other topics and currently works as a muse. Watson is skeptical that "muse" is an actual job, but apparently Miss Hudson spends time being romantically linked with artists with creative block. Also, she has an Adam's apple. Holmes doesn't care: "All rather complicated I imagine. But life is infinitely stranger than anything the mind of man could invent."
Really briefly: I love that Elementary is so casual about Miss Hudson being a transgender woman. This is the only reference to it, and after this she's just cheerfully accepted for who she is. She's being played by Candis Cayne, who is also a transgender woman. I think the acceptance being shown here is a really important moment for television, but I also think that what's so important about it is how little importance the show itself is putting on the moment, if you see what I mean. So I wanted to point it out, but I also don't want to dwell on it. Because from now on, she's just Miss Hudson.